Operational Planning for Conflict Termination
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI NEWPORT United States
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Throughout its 244-year history, the United States has struggled with terminating conflicts, leading to prolonged hostilities and muddled diplomatic situations. In order to overcome these historic shortfalls, Joint Task Force JTF commanders should look to create a Specialized Operational Planning Team for Termination SOPT-T. This SOPT-T would improve how JTF commanders cleanly and permanently terminate conflicts at the operational level of war. To effectively conduct operational-level planning for conflict termination, the JTF commander should ensure that the SOPT-T consists of members from all applicable joint functions combines arms, available intergovernmental agencies, and select international partners. This paper outlines the historical and doctrinal limitations of interagency planning as it relates to conflict termination. Next, it argues that SOPT-Ts must consist of military officers from a diverse array of functional backgrounds and nationalities as well as talented interagency contributors. Finally, this paper provides a blueprint for future termination planning at the operational level consisting of 15 to 20 experts from the three specified categories. The goal is to provide a standard design for future operational leaders who must develop planning teams tasked with effectively terminating future conflicts.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics